Hi guys, I’m Abby and I normally blog over at BackatSquare0, but am extremely excited to be here with you all today.  My blog focuses on my story of learning to live healthy.  One of the biggest steps along this journey has been getting active and learning to be consistent with my exercise.  I discovered I actually enjoy running (most days) and set a goal – to turn myself from the girl who couldn’t even run to her own mailbox into a marathon runner.

I’m currently training for my second, the Marine Corp Marathon this October in DC.  My goal is to improve my time from my first marathon (Disney), but I recently came to a realization – I am not going to improve if I continue to do everything the exact same way.  Basically I have found my comfort zone, running long and slow, and happily planted myself in it.  However, this is not going to help me improve as a runner.  So after reading numerous running articles, blogs, etc. I admitted what I already knew to be true – I must face my running demons.  It is time to confront and conquer all my running fears and weaknesses so I can grow and improve.

I knew I would have to narrow my focus in order to set an achievable goal.  So I thought – What do I hate most about running?  Because I know myself, and I know that if I hate something it is because I am not good at it and therefore don’t like doing it.  Two things stuck out in my mind right away – speed work and hills.  So this time around I am altering my marathon training plan.  Last time I focused on my long, slow distance runs, but in truth even my mid and short distance runs were at the same comfortable pace – every run was the exact same.  This time I am switching it up.  My new goal: one slow distance run, two mid distance tempo runs (one of these involving hills), two high intensity interval training (HIIT) speed days with much shorter runs and some lifting, a cross train (in my case rugby) day, and finally a rest day.

Since the town I live in (Charleston, SC) is completely flat my only hill options are bridges.  My favorite of which is the new Cooper River Bridge.  It has a great pedestrian walkway and is even lit at night.  I plan on frequenting this bad boy once a week to (force myself to) get my hill training in.

As far as speed work goes I have tried doing it outside, but find I always fall back into my comfortable pace and never run quite as fast as I would like, or challenge myself quite as much as I should.  Therefore, as much as I hate running on it, the treadmill is my best solution.  If I crank it up and don’t run hard enough – I fly off.  Now that is motivation.  I am trying some interval workouts that have me sprinting at various speeds for differing lengths of time with short rest segments in between.  Usually anywhere from three – five miles depending on the workout.  Here is one I created myself, but I also borrow lots offline, I am trying to constantly change things up.   Guess this treadmill is my new best friend and worst enemy.

What are you trying to change/improve about your running or workout?

What plan have you put into place?

Leave a comment and let me know.

I’d love to hear about your journey.  If you ever have any questions, need motivation, or just want someone to brag to about how you stuck to your goals please let me know.


Abby describes her blog as One Girl’s Struggle for a Healthy Lifestyle: Or why it’s time to put down the cookie dough and get real!  You can read more about her journey to healthy at backatsquarezero.blogspot.com

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